BOSTON (CBS) — Fun, food and a festival that brings out a lot of colorful characters for the elaborate Caribbean parade.
Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh helped kick-0ff the mile and half parade with an important message of peace.
“It’s a great event. It celebrates community and culture,” Governor Baker said.
Police say last year that two people were killed in separate overnight shootings in two Boston neighborhoods indirectly related to the festival.
In 2014, 26 year old Dawn Jaffier was shot and killed while standing along the parade route.
This year there’s a very strong police presence. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s relieved that there was no violence this year.
“Last year we had a few homicides and year before that an innocent young woman was killed on the side of the road enjoying the day. This year we’ve had no violence thank God,” Walsh said.
Police Commissioner Bill Evans says the “troublemakers” are the problem.
“Well you know when the troublemakers come out, it’s almost like what happened last weekend. You know 99.9% of the people are good. Sometimes you get the troublemakers out,” Evans said.
The streets were filled with families enjoying the parade. Parade watcher Dadzi Baker said people are more aware of the problems.
“People are more aware and cognizant of what this day is about and not have any problems, but you know as I know people are drinking,” festival goer Dadizi Baker said.
Other parade watchers said the parade is about unity.
“This day is violence free. Today is the day everybody came together,” the festival goer said.